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Fort Hill Brewery Half Marathon Race Report

I just finished a half marathon.

A real, stand alone, not virtual, not part of a triathlon, all running 13.1 miles.

And even though I did not get a personal best, or break the 2 hour mark I've been trying for, I didn't die.

In fact, I crushed it.

In my last post, I talked about how training was not going well, and that my head was just not in the game.

It spoke of probably walking--a lot!

It was a cool, sunny morning when we left for the race. But the closer we got, the clouds rolled in. The forecast was for cloudy skies and about 70 degrees...but rain was coming later in the day. Pretty good conditions to run in.

On the drive up to the race venue, my friends and I all talked about how we didn't feel super prepared, and that this could be an "ok" race.

Our traditional pre-race selfie.

Lots of "life" stuff in the week leading up to the race for all of us.

They told me I wasn't allowed to walk.

And you know what. We all did really, really well.

The course was a different from previous years, but it was still fairly scenic, and had some good little hills to make you work a little harder.

With Mt. Tom lurking in the background, I felt fortunate that I didn't have to run up that.

The tough hills will be waiting for us next month in Vermont.

But on this day, the small hills at mile 4, 5 and 9 were tough, but not so tough that I had to walk. And by that hill on Mile 9...I began to pass people that had flew by me those first 4 miles along the relatively flat Rail-Trail.

Now that felt awesome.

As I ran, I worried that my pace was too fast.

I hoped to keep up a 10 minute/mile pace. I wasn't optimistic, but that was the goal I was stretching for.

I was running much faster than that in those early miles. And as I thought, as mile 11 and 12 came, I was slowing down...but not significantly.

In the end, I averaged 9:52 for the whole 13.1 miles, and finished in just over 2 hours and 9 minutes. And 4th in my age group!

Post race beer! And sporting my "Autism Ohana" shirt, raising a little awareness.

Even though it was cloudy, it was humid, and I found myself getting warmer and warmer. But fortunately it wasn't too bad. The shirt stayed on!

I found this shirt, and just knew I had to have it--raising a little awareness for J and others on the Spectrum. A could of people even commented on it positively.

The course had a little bit of everything. Nice "flat" rail trail, a couple of short, steep hills, some nice downhills, good scenery, and even a section through the woods off of the pavement.

And a nice steep little hill to end the race. Why do they do that?

It was fun. And I would consider doing it again.

An added bonus was the beer was very good. They actually had a good selection to choose from, like a dozen different beers, not just 2 or 3.

And they were poured fresh from the tap.

On top of all that, it was well supported. Lots of volunteers and local police to keep us all safe and on course. And the locals cheered us on from the rail trail, their yards, and their driveways.

The only negative was that one of the food trucks ran out of food. It happens.

But overall, we rocked it.

And since the food truck ran out of food, we decided to find a burger place and have our traditional post race burger instead.

The Hangover Helper with Onion Rings...delicious!

It was a freakin awesome burger.

If you are in Easthampton, MA and want a good burger...check out Riff's Joint.

I got the Hangover Helper with a side of Onion Rings.


Anyway, the day could not have gone better.

We all had good races; none of us got hurt; I didn't walk; we had good beer, great food, and good times. And it did not start raining until we were in the car and on our way home.

It was a really special day.

And with the Half Marathon done, I feel like I have my mojo back.

The Epic Shit tour up the Vermont 10 Miler. Bring on those hills!

Our traditional post race picture!

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